I developed this soup when I was stuck in the house, craving soup, with a pretty full pantry but not a lot of fresh vegetables. Now, I make sure I have as many beans as I can on hand, and in fact, I usually double the recipe and use one can each of black beans, small white cannellini beans, chickpeas, and dark red kidney beans. I usually freeze some so I always have some.
Makes about 10 cups
1 ½ teaspoons vegetable or olive oil
1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, scrubbed and chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
½ teaspoon fennel seed
½ teaspoon dried thyme
4 cups assorted cooked beans (the more kinds the merrier), drained and rinsed
½ cup lentils, any kind
4 – 6 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes, including the liquid
¼ cup rice, any kind, farro, or barley
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Lemons, for serving
- Put a large pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium. When the pot is hot, add the oil.
- Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, fennel and thyme and cook until they are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add the beans, lentils, broth, and water, then simmer the soup, partially covered, for 30 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and rice and cook until the rice is tender, about 45 minutes. Simmer another 15 minutes.
- Add the parsley and serve right away, with a squeeze of lemon. Or cool, cover and refrigerate up to 5 days.